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War Crimes In Bangladesh

| by Ali Sukhanver

( June 11, 2014, Islamabad, Sri Lanka Guardian) Absence of law and misuse of law are absolutely two different things belonging to the same category but the latter is more dangerous rather heinously harmful. Wise people say ‘a society could never be made prosperous through charity; prosperity is directly linked with the presence of justice.’ Misuse of law means injustice. Unfortunately even in highly developed, educated and civilized societies, the misuse of law could be noted as a very common national trait. Laws are molded, bent and exploited according to the desires of the stronger ones. We see in the western societies and particularly in American society, people are very much conscious of the human rights violations. Every day new rules and regulations are suggested, discussed and finally approved in the parliaments in favour of the human-rights protection but there remains complete silence when the armies deployed outside the western region are found involved in human rights violations. Why this criminal silence on human rights violations in Abu Ghuraib prison in Iraq at the hands of the US troops and the war-crimes committed by the NATO forces in Afghanistan?

The Iranian news network ‘Press TV’ released a report on human rights violation by US forces in Afghanistan in 2013. The report was prepared by the Afghan government investigators after working with 75 tribal elders in different areas of Afghanistan. The report said, ‘US military planes usually bombard the houses which are made out of wood and mud and are caved in during the air strikes, causing countless civilian deaths. Many civilians have lost their lives in US-led operations in various parts of Afghanistan over the past decade. Washington claims that its air-strikes target militants, but local sources say civilians have been the main victims of the attacks. The United States and its allies entered the war in Afghanistan in October 2001 as part of Washington’s so-called war on terror but after more than 12 years, the foreign troops have not been able to establish security in the country.’ This report was published in many newspapers of the west but not even a single person from this ‘ultra-civilized’ society raised any cry of protest against this brutality of the US troops.

On the other hand the US State Department has complained in a recent report that human rights monitors are being restrained and harassed by the Indian armed forces in occupied Kashmir. The personnel of the Indian armed forces and police so many times restrain and harass them. The report maintains that the abuses in Kashmir range from mass killings, forced disappearances, torture, rape and sexual abuse to political repression and suppression of freedom of speech. But unfortunately no NGO in India or anyone else ever protests over this human rights violation. And more pathetic is the fact that even the Indian courts remain silent. I remember the comments of an Indian Muslim student on face-book regarding Indian legislative system. The student was studying in UK that time. He said, “The emphasis of every Indian lawyer is more on winning the case rather than ensuring that justice has been done. It is more important to see how smartly the case has been presented and how strong were the support arguments to influence the honorable Judge. Resultantly smartness of the advocate and solicitor may allow the criminals to walk freely while the innocent is punished.”

Accuracy of courts and Judicial Systems guarantee steadfast foundations to every nation. Without this accuracy the whole of social structure is shattered and scattered. The presence of law is never sufficient; important in actual is to save the society from the misuse of law. History is replete with the examples of misuse of law and worst of it could be seen in the present day Bangladesh. In the name of the War Crimes, innocent people are being pushed to gallows. The governing Awami League established the Bangladesh International Crimes Tribunal in 2010. The purpose of this tribunal was to penalize those who were involved in creating hurdles in separation of the East Pakistan (Now Bangladesh) from the West Pakistan. But unfortunately, instead of doing so, the tribunal started penalizing those who had and who have sympathies with Pakistan. In the veil of looking into the matter of war-crimes, the government of Awami League started using this Tribunal as a tool against the pro-Pakistan elements in Bangladesh. In the name of war-crimes the execution of Jamat-e-Islami leaders including death penalty to Mullah Abdul Qadir is certainly misuse and exploitation of law by the state itself. The government of Sheikh Hasina is trying to imitate the traditions set by the USA and India by using law as a weapon against the political opponents. She must also take to task the culprits who were involved in cruelties and brutalities against the ‘West-Pakistanis’ who were that time there in East Pakistan.